Meaning of “dare” in the English Dictionary

"dare" in British English

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uk /deər/ us /der/

dare verb (BE BRAVE/RUDE)

B2 [ I not continuous ] to be brave enough to do something difficult or dangerous, or to be rude or silly enough to do something that you have no right to do:

I was going to ask if his dog was better, but I didn't dare in case she had died.
[ + (to) infinitive ] Everyone in the office complains that he smells awful, but nobody dares (to) mention it to him.
[ + infinitive without to ] I wouldn't dare have a party in my flat in case the neighbours complained.
Dare you tell him the news?
I don't dare think how much it's going to cost.
UK I daren't think how much it's going to cost.
UK Do you dare (to) tell him the news?
I'd never dare (to) talk to my mother the way Brandon talks to his.
[ + to infinitive ] He was under attack for daring to criticize the mayor.
See also

More examples

  • She fixed the child with a stare of such disapproval he did not dare move.
  • I didn't dare say anything for fear of offending him.
  • I wouldn't dare say anything against him to his mother!
  • I dare not let the children out of my sight in this park.
  • He's a bit possessive about his CDs - I wouldn't dare ask to borrow them.

darenoun [ C ]

uk /deər/ us /der/

(Definition of “dare” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"dare" in American English

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us /deər/

dare verb (BE BRAVE)

present tense dares or dare to be brave enough to do something difficult or dangerous or that you should not do:

[ T ] She wouldn’t dare go out alone there at night.
[ I ] He wanted to touch it, but he didn’t dare.
[ +to infinitive ] I can’t believe you dare to talk to me this way!

dare verb (ASK)

[ T ] to ask someone to do something that involves risk:

I dare you to ask him to dance.

darenoun [ C ]

/der, dær/

dare noun [ C ] (BRAVE ACT)

something difficult or dangerous that you do because someone asks you to do it:

He jumped into the river on a dare.

(Definition of “dare” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)